A Screaming Man

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Everyone has his or her own little fiefdom; for Adam (Djaoro), it's the pool at a posh hotel in Chad, where this former swimming medalist---he's nicknamed "Champ"---and his son, Abdel (Koma), are the lords of the towels. The 60-year-old takes pride in his high rank in the hospitality-industry hierarchy, which makes his demotion to working the front gate while Abdel attends to splashing Westerners particularly devastating. Meanwhile, government troops and rebels escalate an ongoing civil conflict, and only Champ's payments to the local military authority keep his boy from being drafted. But if he were to stop slipping the bigwig bribes, his old job might open up again....

This paternal betrayal ups the ante of A Screaming Man, taking it in a blink from an intriguing personal-breakdown portrait to an all-out social autopsy on life during perpetual wartime. Though the title suggests hysterics, director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Daratt) plays everything po-faced, relying on Djaoro's ability to essay one of the best internalized, emotionally locked-down performances in recent memory. (When another character actually does let loose an anguished wail late in the film, the effect is seismic.) A collective sense of psychological turmoil seems to weigh heavily on the entire country as much as Champ, reaching critical mass once chaos creeps into the city---leading to a quiet, climactic walk into darkness that earns the right to be called haunting.

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Release details

Release date: Wednesday April 13 2011
Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mahamat Saleh Haroun
Screenwriter: Mahamat Saleh Haroun
Cast: Youssouf Djaoro
Emile Abossolo M’Bo
Diouc Koma
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